An emblematic museum dedicated to Mastiha welcomes Chios visitors.
In the heart of Mastihohoria, at a location of special natural beauty, the Mastiha museum of Chios is now open. It accommodates the history of mastiha through centuries, a unique product coming from the Pistacia lentiscus var. Chia, a bush that when it would be wounded will cry and this tear is the famous worldwide resin called Mastiha.
25 kms south of Chios town, overlooking the biggest Mastihohori of Chios, Pyrgi, the Mastiha Museum creates a journey throughout the old times where mastiha have reached almost everywhere in the known world starting from Chios.This new “jewel” of the island intends to highlight the productive history of the cultivation and processing of mastiha, which integrates the cultural landscape of the island. A process that has been added recently into UNESCO’s representative list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Emphasis is also given on timelessness and sustainability of this product.
The journey begins with the permanent exhibition where a song welcomes visitors adding significant value to how hard is processing Mastiha. A lady from Mesta sings to their sons not to get involved with mastiha and she is willing to pay them to stay away. Tools, figures, dresses and landscape is blending together to present to visitors the history of this exclusive product courtesy to Southern Chios.
The museum experience is ideally completed in the outdoor area surrounding the museum. In a real field with mastiha trees, the visitor gets to see the plant up close in the natural environment in which it thrives. This bush has survived on the island since ancient times thanks to systematic cultivation and the area’s microclimate. Individual trees can live up to 100 years. They start yielding resin after about five years and reach full maturity at around 40-50 years. Each tree’s annual yield comes to some 150-180 grams, which is nothing to be sniffed at given that a liter of mastiha oil costs about 3,500 euros.
Visit the Mastiha Museum:
From March 1st through to October 15th: Daily (except Tuesdays) 10 am – 6 pm.
From October 16th through to February 28th: Daily (except Tuesdays) 10 am – 5 pm.